Faculty Directors

What has France Given the World and to You?

Amilcar Castellano-Sanchez, M.D. | castelam@fiu.edu

Dr. Castellano-Sanchez has been Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) since its inception. Dr. Castellano-Sanchez trained in Anatomic & Clinical Pathology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach and served two additional post-doctoral fellowships in Neuropathology at Emory University in Atlanta and Hematopathology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/University of Saint Louis; since his return to south Florida, he has been the Coordinator for Teaching and Research at the Department of Pathology in Mount Sinai. Currently he teaches to the Pathology residents at Mount Sinai Medical Center and during the first three years of medical school here at FIU. He was honored by HWCOM’s first class to receive the Teacher of the Year Award and as Co-Director also received the Best Pre-Clinical Course Award from the same class. Beginning Fall 2016, he will be teaching a Global Learning rated course titled: “History of Medicine through Art” for the Honors College. His research interest includes neoplastic hematologic and non-hematologic diseases, brain tumors and particularly lymphomas in brain tissue. In addition, Dr. Castellano-Sanchez is a volunteer Docent at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at FIU and is passionate about anything that combines goodness, enrichment, personal growth / community growth and community engagement. He enjoys teaching and hopes to convey and exchange ideas with his students.

Searching for Reciprocity in Japan

Cesar Castillo, M.A. | cecastil@fiu.edu

Cesar Castillo is a cultural anthropologist and Faculty Director for the FIU Honors Japan Study Abroad. As Faculty Director Cesar teaches on Japanese Indigenous Ainu culture, Edo period society, and contemporary Indigenous affairs. As Faculty Director, Cesar combines his fieldwork experience and intimate knowledge of Ainu culture with broader global perspectives to immerse students in global cultural exchange. Cesar earned his MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and BA in Sociology and Anthropology at FIU.

As a PhD. Student at the Department of Global and sociocultural studies. Cesar’s research is centered around academic tourism and educational experiences between study-abroad students and Indigenous communities in Latin America and Japan. His research stems from his long engagement with indigenous communities in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Japan as well as passion for immersive education.

Professionally, Cesar’s a seasoned researcher who has worked in both private and public industries. Specializing in qualitative methodologies, Cesar facilitates cross-cultural understanding for business communication and global brand strategy, fostering inclusive product design across various industries such as education, consumer goods, and pharmaceuticals.

Explore Nepal

Prem Chapagain, Ph.D. | chapagap@fiu.edu

Dr. Chapagain is a Professor in the Department of Physics at Florida International University, specializing in biological physics. His research focuses on the computational investigations of the structure and function of biomolecules, an area that is highly interdisciplinary in nature. He has extensively published on various topics of biophysics including the spreading dynamics of infectious diseases, novel antimicrobial compounds against antibiotic-resistant pathogens, DNA and RNA binding proteins, membrane-protein interactions, dynamics of viral proteins of emerging viruses such as Ebola and Marburg viruses, and more recently SARS-CoV-2. He has developed an excellent research infrastructure in computational biophysics at FIU with external funding from the NSF, NIH, DoD, and industry partners. He has developed dozens of collaborations within FIU and institutions around the world, including Purdue, Notre Dame, Cambridge, La Jolla Institute of Immunology, Johns Hopkins, UM, and Tulane. Dr. Chapagain has been recognized by multiple teaching and research awards, including the 2019 Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award and 2022 Faculty Excellence in Research Award. Dr. Chapagain has a highly successful record of teaching and mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students. Graduated students have been placed in prominent labs, including at the NIH, Columbia University, and John Hopkins University, and many of the students he mentored have been recognized by FIU as the Real Triumphs graduates.

Cambodia & Vietnam: Their Place in American History

Cory Fairfield, M.A. | cfairfie@fiu.edu

Cory Fairfield has been part of the FIU community for over a decade, starting his academic journey at Florida International University and successfully completing both his Undergraduate and Graduate degrees. Currently working towards an Ed.D in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, Cory's dedication to education is evident in his ongoing pursuit of knowledge.

In 2017, following his Master's degree, Cory transitioned into a full-time role at FIU, initially working at OneStop Enrollment Services before finding his place in Academic Advising. Currently serving as CARTA's Assistant Director of Academic Support Services, Cory is committed to supporting academic success.

A graduate of the Honors College, Cory has a global perspective that goes beyond the classroom. He has participated in programs that include Honors in Costa Rica and Honors in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, as well as study abroad ventures to the Bahamas and Germany. These international engagements reflect Cory's interest in cultural exchange and diverse learning experiences.

Join Cory on his educational journey as he continues to contribute to FIU and beyond, driven by a genuine passion for learning and a desire to make education accessible and impactful for all.

Grace Frawley, M.S. | grfrawley@gmail.com

Grace Frawley is a two-time Florida International University alum with degrees in Statistics and Data Science along with a Minor in Art History. Like the students of FIU’s Honors College, she also thinks that everything is interesting and that everything is connected. Her first time outside of the U.S. was with the Honors College Cambodia/Vietnam program, for which she is now co-directing. Frawley is currently a Senior Grants Analyst with Miami-Dade County’s Office of Management and Budget where she secures grant funding for a wide array of programs and projects for the County. Prior, she wore many hats at FIU’s Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum for over 8 years: leading community outreach efforts, evaluating programs, and assisting with fundraising (among many other things). She’s excited to be back with the Honors College and looks forward to receiving the favorite recipe of anyone reading this.

Costa Rica: Environment & Sustainability

Carolin Lusby, Ph.D. | clusby@fiu.edu

Dr. Lusby is an Associate professor in tourism at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. She is the tourism lead and co-director of the Global Sustainable Tourism Program. She holds a PhD in Tourism and Natural Resources from the University of Florida and was recently granted a Fulbright Scholar Award in Brazil, where she does frequent consulting work in community-based tourism and collaborates with Brazilian universities in various research projects. A certified auditor in sustainability in tourism, Dr. Lusby is passionate about travel and connecting people to people while preserving natural and cultural resources. She is the author of the book: "Destination Unknown-Sustainable Travel and Ethical Tourism," and the chair of the special interest group in tourism of the World Leisure Organization. Her research and outreach are markedly international and driven by her desire to solve problems and create good for communities around the world. Her research output includes various grants from the US Department of State, publications, presentations, and multiple book chapters. As a certified Scuba instructor, she is passionate about sustainability in marine tourism. Trained as a guide and experiential educator, Dr. Lusby enjoys taking groups abroad to learn about sustainable tourism practices “hands-on”. Employing her extensive research and field experience, Dr. Lusby has developed several exciting new courses for the GST degree program including Global Sustainable Tourism Development in Natural Resources, and Sustainability and Well-being in Global Societies.

España: Ayer y Hoy - Aquí y Allá

Niurca Márquez, M.F.A. | niumarqu@fiu.edu

Niurca Márquez (she/ella) is a movement artist/researcher and author. As a trained somatic educator, she uses her body-centered work to service communities undergoing processes of healing and self-realization. A Latinx artist and activist on the margins advocating for silenced voices, she is particularly interested in notions of identity, cultural memory, ritual and the body within a contemporary framework, as well as the multiple layers of communication and understanding in movement practices that lead to liaisons with political and social discourse. Niurca is the recipient of numerous awards for both her artistic creation and her research including: Dance Miami Choreographer’s Award (2015 and 2017), Gillman Fellowship in Choreography for Graduate Studies (2015-2017), two Ford Foundation Travel Grant for Research in Cuba granted through the Cuban Research Institute and the Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University (1998 and 1999).

She has various publications on contemporary flamenco, dance sustainability and identity politics in movement practices. Her current research includes an examination of the use of collage (and it’s affiliated approaches) as a methodology for composition when working in hybrid forms to explore how we can evidence the process in performance on various platforms, as well as, transculturality, hybridity and mestisaje as they pertain to expressions of identity and the moving body. Niurca directs Cultural Arts Exchange, an organization dedicated to artist services and programs centered on social accountability. She is an Assistant Teaching Professor with a joint appointment in the Honors College and Department of Religious Studies. She is also the COIL Faculty Fellow for the Honors College and a LACC Affiliated Faculty.

For more information about her artistic research, please visit: www.niurcamarquez.com

The Grand Tour of Italy: From the Roman Empire to the Renaissance

Magda Novelli Pearson, DML | pearsonm@fiu.edu

Dr. Novelli Pearson is the Italian Program coordinator at FIU. She oversees three Study Abroad Programs in Italy. Advisor of the Italian club and FIU Teaching Professor. She holds a DML (Doctorate in Modern Languages) from Middlebury College and her research focuses on modern Italian literature, Italian cinematography, aesthetics of Italian villas and gardens and history of fashion.

Dr. Pearson has had many years of experience teaching Italian, and she has also partnered with Universities in Italy, Canada, and China for Collaborative Online International Learning. She oversees the CELI exams in cooperation with University of Perugia (Italy). Prof. Novelli was 2022 FIU Top Scholar awardee in the category of Global Engaged and Culturally Responsive Teaching.

Finally, she collaborates with the Italian Consulate in Miami in order to support and promote Italian language and culture in local K-12 schools.

The United Kingdom: Still United?

James M. Sutton, Ph.D. | suttonj@fiu.edu

Dr. Sutton was born and raised in Michigan; he received undergraduate and Master’s degrees in English from Northwestern and Michigan and holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies (1995) from Yale. His early research focused on the interplay of art, architecture, dramatic performance, politics, and court intrigue in England during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. He currently teaches and studies Shakespeare and his plays’ global appropriation and adaptation, focusing on Slovenia and South Florida. He recently co-edited a book entitled Exile in Global Literature and Culture: Homes Found and Lost, with FIU colleague Professor Asher Milbauer. This publication has led to further inquiry on the relationship of Shakespeare to exile and dislocation. Sutton is an Associate Professor in FIU’s English department, which he chaired from 2008-2016. In early 2017, Sutton spent six months in Slovenia, teaching literature at two Slovenian universities and travelling widely about central Europe. He joined the FIU Honors College—a long term goal—in the fall of 2017 and takes pride in teaching IDH 1001 and 1002 as part of the famous Gerstman/Abukhodeir/Sutton POD ever since. Long the co-director of the successful FIU Study Abroad program, “Shakespeare in England,” Professor Sutton created and launched this Honors College UK program in 2019, journeying to London, York, Scotland and the Highlands, the Lake District, Manchester, and Stratford-upon-Avon. Although Covid-19 nixed travel abroad in 2020 and 2021, Sutton successfully jump-started the program once again in 2022, leading a fantastic group of 20 students to London, Oxford, Manchester and Liverpool, Belfast and Northern Ireland, Wales, and Bath + Stonehenge. This past summer, 20 students joined Sutton to explore London and the southeast, West Ireland and Dublin, Cornwall, Devon, Bristol and Bath. In 2024, he seeks a new cohort of 22 adventurous, curious students prepared for new endeavors in England and Scotland. If you have any questions, please reach out to him at suttonj@fiu.edu.